We all know how Twitter has become a popular micro-blogging site, and just recently I've become aware of a micro-photo sharing site called Instagram.
In the last few weeks I've heard my kids talk about uploading photos, photo views, and how many followers and likes they've been getting. Usually those are terms I'm familiar with for Twitter or Facebook. Instead, I learned they were using their Apple devices for sharing photos they'd taken with their handhelds.
The way it works is pretty simple, which is probably why it's growing in popularity. You take a photo and upload it to the site through the Instagram app. It looks like you need an iphone or ipod to use the site, you can't do it with a regular computer. You'd think this would impede the growth of Instagram, but maybe it also gives a feeling of belonging to an exclusive group. There is an editor you can use to add text to your photos if you want. You can leave a comment about the photo, and people can 'like' your photos and leave comments about them.
Other features to Instagram include a photo of the day, the use of hashtags (#) like with Twitter to tag keywords, the ability to search for photos, and also popular photos.
Webstagram is a related site that lets people use their desktop computers or laptops to view Instagram photos and comment. I imagine Instagram has caused the creation of many other support sites that add value to the platform, in the way Twitter created support sites to add value to the tweeting experience.
Here are some examples of photos uploaded to Instagram (notice they use a domain hack):
Instagram Photo 1
Instagram Photo 2
Instagram Photo 3
Here is a profile page of an Instagram user (accessible by computer on Webstagram):
Instagram user profile on Webstagram
What domainers would find interesting, is that Instagram also owns the domain Instagram.com, which goes to their app download page. More interesting, is that the domain Webstagram.com fowards to the domain hack Web.Stagram.com. It isn't often you see a domain hack or subdomain forward to a .com, though I guess in this case they are both .com's!
If you have an iphone or ipod and enjoy taking photos, Instagram looks like a good way to share them and it's growing in popularity. I imagine there are ways to use Instagram for marketing purposes, but right now it looks like people are mostly just using it because they enjoy sharing photos. If kids and teenagers are using and talking about the site, chances are it will continue to grow and could become the next big social networking site.